Author: Andrew

The World Tour Finals: The Finals

The World Tour Finals: The Finals

Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless, once told me a story. It is, he said, “my own personal history of how I played tennis. It’s very personal. It’s not about my mother. It’s not about my father. It’s about me, me, me.”

That’s what Federer is. On this July 4 I met him in London to talk about his plans for the 2015 season, his career, his goals and his relationships.

I spoke to him through tears of frustration. We were in the midst of the World Tour Finals, where Federer was playing in the fourth round. He is, and I suppose I was, too, but the feeling was more like watching one’s career slipping into the jaws of what is already a great story. Federer has dominated tennis for the past decade and a half. He has won the most consecutive games to begin a final since Arthur Ashe. He has won the only U.S. Open men’s final. And he has spent the past five years playing on his knees, at his highest level, in his finest moments, wearing the number 10, the last man standing.

I have a theory: Federer is on a bit of a downward spiral. He is, to be honest, on the edge of a precipice. The pressure to reach the summit has become unbearable. He is on his way to winning more major titles than he had ever won in his career. He is a true phenom, at the peak of his powers. I’ve never seen anyone so capable of such precision and power. “I feel like we have to play the very best to get to the very best,” Federer said at the end of the press conference after beating Roger on Sunday. “And so do they — all of us.”

The narrative of this tennis season has been “Federer

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